Dear Lee,

We had a very rainy spring, which I wasn’t thrilled about at the time. But my garden has become an oasis thanks to all that rain! My peony and allium flowers are twice the size they were last year. My flowering bushes are also amazing.

Best of all is the growth of a tree I planted last year: a paw-paw tree at the grassy end of my driveway. I did it because I love the look of the tree and because I love saying “paw-paw.” The fruit-bearing tree is native to Ohio. Deer hate its leaves and branches, and I’ve heard that its fruit — the largest edible fruit native to North America — is delicious. The fruit begins to ripen in late summer and peaks in September and October. The flavor is compared to bananas, but with hints of mango, vanilla and citrus. I know I won’t be getting any fruit this year unless I get a second paw-paw tree. You need two trees to pollinate.

I spend lots of time in my garden and I love filling it with collections of unique decorations that many might consider “recyclables.” I use old trellises, road signs, parts of fences and pottery pieces to decorate my garden. I also have a collection of gnomes. Some of them were missing pieces, so I just put other things in their hands, like small rakes or shovels.

Here are some ideas for your garden. Enjoy the season!

Flea markets and antiques malls are full of repurposed plates, bowls and cups that can be made into bird baths or toad homes.

Look for old wheelbarrows, wagons or baskets; they make great planters. So do old ceramic pots.

Don’t wear jewelry when gardening, playing sports or working with tools. You might lose a ring or pin in the dirt.

Keep your birdbath clear of algae by putting a few pre-1982 pennies in the water. The copper discourages algae. Later pennies will not work because they are zinc with a thin copper coating.

P.S. Look for the new Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2023, coming soon!


garden gnomes

The gnomes in my garden are busy.




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